-1What If

(AN: I do not own CSI. Spoilers for Crash and Burn. I just need to clarify that I am a GSR fan, but this is about Nick & Sara. That being said I am not sure where this is going, but hopefully it will be a good ride.)

Sara was mad when she got home from work that morning. More than that she was hurt. She never loved Hank, but she had fun with him, and now she just felt used. She hated feeling that way. She was more than mad she was furious. She hadn't been completely open with him, but she had been honest. Now she was just alone. For once she didn't want to be alone. She wanted to…to have some fun… maybe a few drinks. Yes, that was it. She deserved to have fun. She also wanted to be with someone who was truly a friend. Someone she could trust (especially if she had too much fun). There was only one person she could think of who would not only help her have fun, but would not judge her or make her feel worse than she already did.

She was a little nervous about calling him, but then decided that because it was not a date, just two friends having fun together there was nothing to be nervous about. She picked up the phone and dialed his number.

When he picked up the phone he greeted her with, "Hey Sara."

"How did you know it was me?" Realization hitting her as the words left her mouth.

"Caller I.D." They both said.

"So what's up?"

"Well Nicky, I need a favor." She paused nervously.

"I'm listening."

"You're off tonight, right? Any plans?"

"Yeah I'm off, I was just going to watch some TV or something." Now he was curious.

"Well, I was thinking about going to some bars, some drinking, dancing, Hank and I broke up, and I just feel like having some fun with a friend rather than sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. I just thought I would see if you were interested," Sara heard herself rambling and couldn't stop, "If you don't want to it is totally fine, I mean…"

"Sara…Sara! It sounds like fun. What time?"

"How does eight work for you?"

"How about I pick you up at seven and we get some dinner first, my treat."

"That would be great, but you don't have to treat."

"I want to." She could hear the smile in his words over the phone, and she felt much better. He went on to say, "I'll see you tonight."

"I'll see you, and thanks Nick."

"My pleasure, sleep well, bye."

Sara hung up the phone, grabbed a glass of water and headed to bed.

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Sometime around three or three-thirty she woke up. She turned on the TV in her room while she continued to wake up; it takes her awhile to get going. She eventually made her way to the kitchen and turned on the coffee pot before heading to the shower.

She spent most of the afternoon relaxing before she got ready to go out. Even though she was going out with someone she only saw as a friend, she still wanted to look good. Right now she still felt unwanted and undesired. Not just by Hank, as he was pretty much just a "distraction" she was encouraged to get. But also by Grissom. She moved her life around for him then he went on not caring until she got a "distraction" then his only response was to distance himself physically and emotionally even more so than before. She just wanted to be wanted, needed, dare she say loved.

She settled on a low-cut black sleeveless shirt, a dark short denim skirt, and some black strappy sandals with a slight heel. She opted for the natural curly look for her hair, and put on just the right amount of makeup. As she checked herself in the mirror, she heard a knock at the door.

"Ready?" He said when she opened the door. She couldn't help but notice that he looked pretty damn good.

"All set," came her reply.

They walked to Nick's car. He opened the passenger door for her. She thought it was sweet, but she was not surprised. She knew Nick was a gentleman, especially with his friends.

"Where are we going?" She asked once he started driving.

"Well, how does Italian food sound to you?"

"Sounds great."

They made comfortable conversation for the rest of the trip and through dinner as well. Nick knew she was hurting after what had happened with Hank, Catherine had filled him in on what had happened, but he was not going to tell Sara that. He knew she valued her privacy, so he would take any information she offered. She was one of his best friends and he hated to see her hurt. He had decided that tonight would be all about her, what ever she wanted to do, eat, or drink. He would make sure she was safe and smiling. No other woman would exist tonight. Sara deserved a night like that.

Later they headed to a club. They made their way to the bar, both having a beer. This club was known for its retro Eighties theme. They had fun checking out the décor before Nick pulled Sara to the dance floor. They had a lot of fun moving to the beat of five straight songs. They moved really well together. Then things slowed down a little as Madonna's Crazy for You came on. Sara started making her way back to the bar when Nick grabbed her hand, "You're not getting off that easy Sara Sidle." She just smiled shyly and put her arms around him. She was actually having fun. They continued dancing for a few more songs then Nick asked, "Would you like another drink?"

"Yes," was her simple reply.

As they were walking another woman came up and tried to drag Nick top the dance floor. He was polite, but firm, when he turned her down. After all he was here for Sara tonight.

The exchange did not go unnoticed by Sara. It made her feel really good to know what kind a friend she had. She really was lucky. After a much needed drink, they continued to dance most of the rest of the night only taking a few breaks here and there.

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When Nick pulled up to Sara's place early in the morning, she got out of t he car, then leaned back down. He rolled down the window. "Coffee?" She asked.

He thought about it for a second. Who was he kidding, he wasn't ready to leave, he had had so much fun with her tonight. After nodding, he parked the car and followed Sara to her place.

She turned on the coffee pot before joining Nick on the sofa. Nick looked at her and said, "So did you have fun?"

"Yeah, I did thanks."

"So do you wanna talk about it?"

"Talk about what?"

"About the fact that I know you seemed to be having fun earlier, but now when you say it, you look at the floor with sad eyes."

How could he read her that well? "I don't know."

"What happened with Hank?"

She again looked at the floor, unsure if she even wanted to have this conversation. In the end she decided it couldn't hurt, she knew she could trust Nick. She simply said, "He had a girlfriend this whole time." Then she stood to retrieve the coffee and brought two mugs back with her, giving one to him.

"Thanks." She half smiled. He continued, "That's why the case bothered you so much." It was more of a statement than a question.

She nodded still staring at the floor. "I don't even know why it bothers be so much. I mean I didn't love him or anything. I just feel so used and…" She stopped, not wanting to continue.

"And what?" Nick saw the pain and fear in her eyes. At that moment he hated Hank for what he had done to the woman who sat before him.

"And…I don't know," Now Sara's eyes were starting to water. She cursed herself for this. "I am just tired of letting myself get involved with or attached to men who.." She shook her head not sure about continuing.

Nick wanted to cry at what this was doing to her friend. "Who what, Sara?"

"Who… Don't want me, or desire me, or love me." Now she was really crying, not just because of what she was feeling, but also because she felt so vulnerable after sharing this with someone else, and she was embarrassed about the way she was acting. She prided herself on being strong and here she was falling apart in front of him.

The only thing Nick could do at this point was to wrap his arms around her and hold as she cried. "Sara, he had no right to treat you like that." Nick knew it was not just Hank she was crying over. Everyone knew she wanted Grissom, and that was just as much of the problem she was having now, but this was not the time to bring that up. "It's alright sweetie, it's going to be okay." He tried to comfort her. He kept holding her.

She began to shift in his hold, still crying. He kept saying soft comforting words. Suddenly their faces were inches apart. They both froze. Suddenly they were kissing. Passionately kissing. Then they pulled apart.

"I'm sorry," Nick said embarrassed about what he had just done to his friend.

"I'm not," Sara quietly said, never taking his eyes off him, and then kissing him again.

Things were getting hot. Sara unbuttoned his shirt. Then kissed his neck. "Are you sure about this? How drunk are you?"

"Very sure Nick. I know what I'm doing. No strings. I just need to be needed right now. Please."

Was his friend really asking him this? She was so attractive and sexy, and she wanted him now. He wanted her. He knew there would be consequences later, but for now, well for now, now was all that mattered.

They continued on as they were. Sara led him to her bedroom, each of them loosing various articles of clothing along the way.

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They woke up in each others arms. Both a little shocked at the events of the night before.

"You okay?"

"Yes," Sara responded feeling better than she had in a while. She never based her value on a man, and she still wasn't. She was just happy that Nick had given her the gift of feeling wanted. It wouldn't have been the same with a stranger; she would have felt even more used in the morning. With Nick she felt loved. Not I love you forever and always love, but love from a friend. She knew he would not intentionally hurt her, and that made her feel safe in her actions of the previous night. "Thank you, Nicky".

"Thank you" he replied.

Now it got a little awkward until Nick spoke again, "Sara, are we going to be okay, our friendship I mean. I don't want to loose what we had based on last night."

"I think you read my mind. Are you okay with this?"

"Yeah, I think I am." She suddenly looked a little embarrassed, "What's wrong."

"Oh, nothing, but could you turn around, I am suddenly very aware that I have nothing on under the sheet." She laughed a little as she bit her lip.

He laughed as he turned and let her get dressed.

"Ah, Nicky, this is just between the two of us right?"

"Of course, Sara, well with the exception of Warrick, Catherine, Greg, oh and all of the lab rats." He smiled.

"Not funny Stokes." She gave him a small smile.

"I have to get going, you're on tonight, right?"

"Yep"

"Seriously Sara, you are much better off without him, and if you need to talk, call me, promise."

"I promise."

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AN: I would like to continue this, but is it worth continuing? Any advice? Please review. You don't have to like it, just be fair. Thanks in advance!